In this issue of Well-Being, “Making a Difference in Mississippi” features Mississippi Children’s Home Services (MCHS). It is an organization that is very dear to our hearts, since three members of our staff have personal connections – a sister who works at MCHS, a mother who was adopted through MCHS, and me – also adopted through MCHS. Although adoptions are no longer the primary focus of the organization’s mission, for over 7000 children who were placed in loving homes between 1913 and today, the impact on these lives will go on and on for generations to come.
To me, adoption is one of life’s miracles. It is a testament to the depth of love that can be found in the human heart. When a childless couple or individual first looks into the eyes of an infant or child, not born of them, but entrusted to them…and is overwhelmed with an all encompassing need to love, care for and protect them, it is nothing less than miraculous…and it is transformative.
There is no doubt that my life would have been very different if I had not found my way to my adoptive parents. I remember when they first told me that I was adopted and the perfect way they explained it. They said, “When a child is adopted, it means they were chosen by their parents because they wanted so badly to have a baby to love, and we picked you.” I think I was maybe four or five, but that explanation satisfied my curiosity perfectly. I have always felt very blessed that they chose me, and from that moment we became a family.
Now my mom is 96 and it is my turn to love, care for and protect her. The blessing of my adoption goes on and on. Who would be there for her at this stage of her life if she and my dad had not brought home a quiet, dark-eyed five-month-old that warm spring day.
If I had ten lifetimes, I could never begin to give back all of the love and support I have received over the years, all because my parents wanted so badly to have a baby to love and picked me.
This issue of Well-Being is dedicated to my parents, Mary Kathryn and Charles Lawrence, and adoptive parents everywhere who have transformed the lives of children by opening their hearts and their homes to them.